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Thread: ACARS by Inmarsat

  1. #1
    First officer nzradar's Avatar
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    ACARS by Inmarsat

    Hi All,

    I stumbled across a programme for decoding ACARS messages off Inmarsat and found it relatively easy to do. The programme is JAERO and can be downloaded and used free of charge.

    You will need an antenna which I built myself using the information on the RTL-SDR blog here. As for a receiver, I have found that one of my RTL-SDR dongles is perfect for the project otherwise a receiver that will demodulate Upper Side Band (USB) and has a frequency range that includes 1545 - 1546 MHz can be used.

    I use SDR# to tune in to the signals once I've found the satellite using SatFinder on my Androoid phone.

    Depending on the part of the world you are in you will see different satellites so if you use SatFinder just search for Inmarsat and it should show a list that is viewable in your sky. Then use the Augmented Reality (AR) feature of the app to point your phone at the satellite and then point your antenna in the same direction.

    Oh, and by the way, I didn't need a preamp to receive the signals but I will invest in one just to boost the levels.

    Good luck!
    Michael
    Palmerston North,
    New Zealand
    ex-FR24 Feeder

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    That sounds cool. Another variation on the local system. Bet it has a lot more intl contacts.

    Is that the network they had running that tracked the data uplinks from the Malaysian 777s
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

  3. #3
    First officer nzradar's Avatar
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    I believe it was. Results have been a bit disappointing but that can only be expected with a low gain antenna. I've ordered a LNA and I'll be on the look out for a secondhand Sky dish so when they've been sourced I reckon I'll get some better results.

    Due to my crapping skills at keeping the antenna pointed at the satellite I think I've done too much damage to it so will need to carve out another later in the week.

    But, yeah, nice little project.
    Michael
    Palmerston North,
    New Zealand
    ex-FR24 Feeder

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